How to choose the right business Fibre internet provider

Although it’s difficult to give an amount of Fibre internet providers in South Africa, My Broadband says that in May 2018, there were at least 50, but you can be sure there are far more than this.

With this amount, there is no shortage of choice.

But you’re going to want to do your homework carefully, especially if you’re a corporation, because to cancel contracts and go with someone else midway would be costly and disruptive.

We don’t doubt you’ll do your homework, but we’ve made the research a little easier with this handy guide…

Comparing Fibre internet providers: what to look for

According to Temkin Group Research, internet Fibre service providers are ranked the worst out of all the industries with regards to service experience.

And so, while the core service (installation and maintenance that Fibre internet providers offer) may be good, the customer service experience of ISPs is usually lacking.

More than that, there are a lot of other elements you need to look at, and we’ll address all of that in this article.

Here’s a guideline of what to look for:

Line speed

While Fibre is fast and more reliable than any other type of connection, if your line speed is inadequate, it won’t matter that you have Fibre; your connection is going to lag.

So make sure you get the correct speed:

10Mbps: good for up to three to ten people using the internet at the same time provided it is an uncontended line.

20 – 50Mbps: good for up to 20 – 40 devices connected to the internet at the same time, provided it is an uncontended line.

30 – 100 Mbps: good for 30 – 90 devices that need connection at the same time, provided it is an uncontended line.

100 – 1 000 Mbps: exceptionally fast speeds for corporation-amounts of employees, for heavy Internet usage at the same time, provided it is an uncontended line.

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Customer and technical support

When is the Fibre internet provider available for technical support and things like billing queries, and so on?

What methods of support do they offer? Some ISPs offer support via email, or phone, or live chat, and some even through WhatsApp. The method must be suitable for your needs.

Are their times suitable for your business? What does their customer support process look like?

Do they have their own technical team, or do they rely on a 3rd party for support? It is always better when a Fibre provider has their own team, as do BitCo, because that means a better, faster service experience for their clients.

Costs – installation, devices, additional costs

Every Fibre provider works differently. Some may charge extra for installation, or installation costs may be included in the price, or they may do it free of charge. Find out the cost per device and what exactly the supplier charges for what.

Packages

Fibre packages vary from supplier to supplier.

For example, all BitCo’s business Fibre packages are uncapped, uncontended and synchronous, meaning there is no data limit, the connection is not affected by other users, and upload and download speeds are the same.

Be sure to select the right package for your needs. If necessary, ask for help from consultants. There may also be special deals and bundles.

Reliability

The Fibre internet provider must be able to guarantee operational uptime.

Be wary when you get a vague response. For example, BitCo states that it has an uptime of 99%. We are upfront about it, but many suppliers are not, and that generally means that they have to rely on a 3rd party, and this can cause major delays.

Set up time

How long will it take to install Fibre?

It’s important to understand that the time it takes to install Fibre is different for every Fibre internet provider  This is because of logistics like engaging with municipalities for permits, obtaining consent from body corporates, finding electricity sources for equipment, engaging with residents handling objections, and the actual digging and cable installation. In addition, there may be other delays like clogged sewer pipes.

The average deployment time for most ISPs is 6 – 8 months.

However, BitCo makes the wait less painful by providing wireless coverage while you wait.

Areas covered

Most of South Africa still does not have Fibre coverage, which is why deployment time is so lengthy. From these maps, you can see where in South Africa’s major locations there is currently Fibre available:

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Gauteng Fibre Coverage

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Cape Town Fibre Coverage

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Port Elizabeth Fibre Coverage

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Durban Fibre Coverage

Check BitCo’s Fibre coverage map.

Terms, conditions and contracts

Each provider and package will have different lengths of contracts, so remember to consider this. Find out how cancellation works, for just in case.

Carefully peruse any terms and fair use policy documents to make sure their terms are in line with your business Fibre needs.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

There is quite a simple way to find out whether a Fibre internet provider lives up to their promises, and that is by checking out if they meet their Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

Take our online connectivity guide to find the perfect solution for your business!

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